5 Ways to Remove Hair from Bathtub Naturally

How Do I get Clogged Hair out of My Bathtub Drain?

Most of the time when you have a clogged bathtub/shower drain, hair is usually a major culprit. The problem starts off as a slow draining bathtub and if not full fixed you will end up with a fully clogged bathtub full of water.

The good thing is that removing hair from a bathtub drain is quite easy. You don’t even need to hire a plumber to do it for you.

hair in bathtub drain

To remove hair from a bathtub drain, use a hair removal tool to hook and pull out the hair. You can also use a drain auger, wire coat hanger or force it down using a plunger. Alternatively you can use a baking soda, vinegar and hot water combination to dissolve the hair clog.

I always advise homeowners against using harsh chemicals in a bid to dissolve hair or other clogs from their drains. While the chemicals can dissolve clogs, they can damage your plumbing lines and are bad for the environment. They also kill good bacteria in septic systems.

Any time you have a clog, you should try and remove it using natural methods. I know that is not always convenient since most folks want an easy and fast way of dissolving the clog.

Why Bathtub Drains Clog With Hair

It is natural for us to shed hair when we are showering. The hair combines with soap, shampoo and oils to form a sticky ball which ends up clogging the drain line.

The design of the drain however plays a big role in why hair clogs our bathtub, shower and sink drains. If you look underneath your bathroom sink, you will notice that the drain is U-shaped.

The U-shaped part of the drain is called a P-trap. All the drains in your house including the bathtub drain has a P-trap only that you can see it.

The P-trap is designed as such to hold water at all times. The water inside the P-trap acts as a barrier preventing sewer gases from entering the house through the drain.

While the P-trap is important that way, it also creates a resistance for the wastewater. Although water will flow through the P-trap easily, solids won’t always.

As a result, hair present in your bathwater will end up being trapped inside the P-trap, causing a clog. Luckily, P-traps are close to the fixture drain opening making it easy to unclog the bathtub.

Anytime you have a clogged bathtub, there is always a high chance that the clog is inside the P-trap. With that in mid let us look at the several ways to get hair out of a clogged bathtub drain.

How to Remove Hair from a Bathtub Drain

There are several ways to remove hair out of a bathtub drain. Let us look at each one of them in more details:

1. Use a Drain Hair Removal Tool

drain hair removal tool

A drain hair removal tool, also known as a zip-it tool or hair snake is a flexible plastic tool with hooks on both sides that is used to remove hair from drains. Unlike the usual drain auger, this tool is quite cheap and easy to use, not forgetting that it will not damage your plumbing.

All you need to do is push it down the drain, twist it and then pull it out. Do it several times until the time when it will have no hair when you pull it out.

You don’t even need have to remove the bathtub stopper to use this tool. Its size allows you to push it down with the tub stopper in place and pull out the hair.

If you would like to buy one check out this Amazon link.

2. Use a Wire Coat Hanger

removing hair from bathtub drain using a wire coat hanger

A wire coat hanger is a readily available tool which has been used many times to unclog drains. This is how to use it:

  • Grab a wire coat hanger from the closet.
  • Use pliers to straighten up the hanger.
  • Bend one side of the hanger using the pliers so that it is hooked.
  • Push the hooked side of the wire down the bathtub drain and pull it out.

You will notice that every time you pull the wire, the hook will come up with hair strands. Keep doing it until you have fished out most of the hair.

If you don’t have a wire coat hanger you can use just about any wire as long as it is not too thick that you can bend or too thin.

3. Use Baking Soda, Vinegar and Hot Water

Baking soda and vinegar have been used for many years to clear clogged drains. In this case we will not be pulling out the hair from the bathtub drain but rather dissolving the hair ball, forcing it to flow down the drain.

Here is how to unclog a bathtub drain with hair using baking soda, vinegar and hot water.

  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain
  • Follow it up with another cup of distilled white vinegar
  • Wait for about 15 to 30 minutes for the solution to break down the hair ball.
  • Blast hot water down the drain.

Baking soda and vinegar will break down the clog and may be enough to fix the clogged drain but hot water melts the clog even further and flushes it down the drain.

4. Pull the Hair Using an Auger

snaking a bathtub drain

A drain auger, drain snake or plumber’s snake as it is also called is a tool with cranking handle, flexible cable and a hooked head that is used to pull clogs from drains. It is not very easy to use but it is quite effective.

When removing hair from a bathtub drain, I always recommend feeding the drain auger through the overflow drain as opposed to the floor drain. The overflow drain gives you direct access to the P-trap making it a more effective approach.

  • Start by removing the bathtub overflow drain cover plate. If you have a trip-lever bathtub, you will also need to pull out the entire stopper assembly.
  • Slowly push the drain auger down the overflow drain until you encounter resistance. Crank the handle until you move past the resistance.
  • Pull out the auger and remove hair from the head.
  • Go down one more time just to be sure that you have removed all or almost all the hair.
  • Put back the overflow drain cover plate and stopper assembly.

5. Force it Down Using a Plunger

plunging a bathtub

A plunger is a simple tool that is used to clear clogs by forcing them down the drain line. Plunging a bathtub is however a little different from other drains and you need to do it properly to get the desired results.

First, you will need 2 flat-bottomed plungers, one for the floor drain and the other one for the overflow drain. Failing to seal off the overflow drain means that the pressure generated by the floor drain will escape through the overflow.

If you can’t get 2 plungers, try to seal off the overflow drain using rags or duct tape.

For effective plunging, make sure that you have some water in the tub. The water should be enough to cover the bottom part of the plunger. That helps in creating a good seal.

Place the plunger on the bathtub’s floor drain and plunge gently the first few times to properly engage it then plunge aggressively for a few minutes without lifting off the plunger.

To be sure that the hair has been forcing down the drain, you should notice an increase in the rate of draining. Water will drain out of the tub faster than before.

How to Prevent Hair from Clogging Your Bathtub Drain

To prevent hair from clogging your bathtub/shower drain, you should consider buying a bathtub drain hair catcher. These universal hair catchers fit on the bathtub drain opening and are very cheap.

Bathtub drain hair catchers will allow water to drain through but will catch hair and all you have to do is clean it.

Regularly cleaning you bathtub drain using baking soda and vinegar is another way to make sure that hair is melted and doesn’t clog the drain. This combination also prevents your drains from smelling bad.

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